Sunday, June 26, 2011

INFTH Top 100: Numbers 56 and 55

56. Neven Subotic- After several promising seasons in German football, Neven Subotic really started to perform this year.

As part of a stellar central defensive partnership at Borussia Dortmund, Subotic lifted the Bundesliga title, capping the best season of his young career. Scoring only one goal, Neven Subotic was not as much of a goal threat as central defensive partner Mats Hummels, but nevertheless, the Serbian was a valuable asset to Jurgen Klopp's eventually victorious team.

A "closet American" Neven Subotic could have chosen to play for the United States but instead elected to represent home country Serbia; a decision similar to those made by players like Giuseppi Rossi and Andy Najar. There is no doubt that the US could have used him at the Gold Cup, they were ripped apart by Mexico in the final.

Subotic is reported to be happy at current club Dortmund, but rumors of a big transfer always circulate around players of his promise; teams in England and in Germany have been heavily linked with him. However, a stay seems likely, Dortmund have Champions League football to look forward to next year, something that Neven Subotic will savor.

55. Mats Hummels- And now for the second part of Dortmund's defensive axis, Mats Hummels. Standing at six foot three inches, Hummels is a typically large center half, no doubt hugely intimidating to the forwards he faces.

Obviously, the highlight of Hummels season was Dortmund's eventually successful Bundesliga campaign, one which the big defender contributed five goals to; quite a tally for a player in his position.

Internationally, 2010/11 has seen Hummels finally make a breakthrough. After playing for the U21s, Joachim  Lowe rewarded the defender with a handful of caps, a collection that Hummels will be hoping to add to next season. Come the European Championships in 2012, I wouldn't be surprised to see Hummels as Germany's starting central defender, assuming he keeps up his 10/11 form that is.

Interestingly, Hummels has been the subject of much transfer gossip since the conclusion of the season, former club Bayern Munich are reportedly ready to admit their error in selling him on a few years ago, by registering a bid this summer. However, much like Subotic, I don't see Hummels as in any hurry to depart, he is playing in a winning team, one headed for the Champions League.

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